Dundalk FC midfielder Chris Shields has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Oriel Park until the end of 2021.
The 29-year-old moved to Dundalk ahead of the 2012 campaign and has gone on to become a Lilywhites legend, winning a clean sweep of domestic medals, including five league titles.
The news comes on the eve of the new SSE Airtricity League season and speaking to DundalkFC.com just minutes after putting pen to paper, Shields said that he was thrilled to extend his link with the club.
“Since day one I’ve been happy to be here and who would have thought I’d be going into 10 years at the club! That’s very rare in the League of Ireland and I take real personal pride in it.
“I’ve seen so many players come and go over the past decade so to be a constant is nice and it’s great knowing that I can just concentrate on my football now for the next two years.”
If I get my testimonial it will be some party!
With his future secure, the former Bray Wanderers man is looking forward to the opening day of the season against Derry City and feels that it will be a ‘competitive’ clash but is hopeful of starting the season properly with a victory.
“There’s a mood of anticipation around the place. Friday night was always the big date in everyone’s mind. It will be a good competitive game.
“Derry have made some good signings but we know how Declan Devine will set them up so it should make for a great opening night and hopefully we get the right result.”
Looking ahead to the next two seasons, the Dubliner’s drive to succeed isn’t waning and feels that is the same within the squad.
“The hunger never goes and the drive within the squad to win every trophy on hand is frightening. You don’t want to see a squad become lacklustre and be happy with what you’ve done in years gone by.
“We want to keep striving to become more successful every year and that’s definitely the aim for everybody in the squad.”
Lilywhites manager Vinny Perth has never hidden his admiration for Shields and he paid tribute to the Dubliner’s work-ethic which has made him an integral part of the side over the past eight years.
“Chris Shields sums up everything about Dundalk Football Club,” said Perth. “He has been through the good times and the bad. He was here for the relegation play-off game in Waterford in 2012 and he has been here for all of the success we’ve had over the past seven years.
“This will be his ninth season at the club and he has gone from being a squad player to becoming one of the most decorated players in the history of the League of Ireland. It’s a testament to Chris and how hard he works, both on and off the pitch. He is a true legend of the club and long may that continue.”